Comparative Analysis of Minority Governments in the European Parliamentary Democracies
The dissertation provides a comprehensive comparative Political Science research of theproblem of minority governments in the European parliamentary democracies, in particular: it characterizes the main theoretical and methodological peculiarities and preconditions of comparative analysis of minority governments in the European parliamentary democracies; it outlines the types, theoretical and empirical principles, causes, conditions, models andmethods of formation and responsibility of minority governments in the European parliamentary democracies; it founds constitutional, legal, institutional, political, party, electoral, ideological, power-oppositional, executive-legislative and intra-governmental attributes of formation, functioning and responsibility of minority governments in the European parliamentary democracies; it evaluates the patterns of stability, effectivenessand consequences of minority governments in the European parliamentary democracies.
The theoretical and methodological prerequisite and logic for clarification the essenceand specificity of minority governments in the European parliamentary democracies was the solving of at least three key scientific issues: what is parliamentary democracy and how it is outlined with different systems of interinstitutional relations; what is understoodby the government and the governmental cabinet and what types of governments are singled out in parliamentary democracies; what is the nature and specificity of minority governments against the other types of governments in parliamentary democracies.
The researcher found that in the European parliamentary democracies, regardless of the systems and forms of government, it is possible to trace the initial influence of partycomposition of parliaments on the structure of executive bodies (primarily governments). Given that negotiations and debates on the prospects and peculiarities of governments’ formation and their composition take place precisely in parliaments, and also given the priority of formation of governments by political parties, it is observed that in any parliamentary democracy the composition of parliament is differently inherited in the composition of government. It is empirically argued that minority governments, regardless of the systemsof government and inter-institutional relations in general, are already a common phenomenonand type of governments in most of the European parliamentary democracies, especially in the countries of Western Europe, as well as in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It is also validated that minority governments in the European parliamentary democracies are not a unified phenomenon, but vary in their typologies. However, the various types and classifications of minority governments are inexhaustible, since minority governments (as executive structures) depend on the context of analysis, analytical conditions and indicators. Thus, the typologies of minority governments can be expanded and supplemented. It is stated that minority governments are formed for various reasonsand on the basis of various procedures. Their synthesis motive is the fact that minority governments are almost always the result of rational choice of parties, implemented on an institutional basis for realization of their short-term and long-term (intermediate and electoral) goals. Accordingly, it was found that minority governments are not always”abnormal”, “pathological” and “problematic” cases.
It is analytically found and based that the constitutional, legal, institutional and politicalfactors of minority governments’ formation in various European parliamentary democraciesare not independent, because they correlate with rationally-conditioned and party-oriented reasons of minority governments formation. In addition, nationally and regionally based sets of preconditions and tools for minority governments’ formation and accountability in some regions and sets of countries also differ, in particular in systems of positive andnegative parliamentarism, in Western and Central-Eastern European countries and so on.It is also confirmed that party and electoral characteristics, determinants and peculiaritiesof government also affect formation and functioning of minority governments in theEuropean parliamentary democracies. Thus, it has been proved that the stability and effectivenessof minority governments are not categories that can be either positive or negative on the background of other typesof governments. They depend to a large extent on the regional and national contexts and patterns of the formation, functioning and responsibility of minority governments.
In general, the dissertation brings to the scientific community the knowledge about the theoretical and methodological features of positioning and the empirical evidence of formation, functioning, responsibility, efficiency and stability of minority governments onthe background of inter-institutional relations in the European parliamentary democracies.
Keywords: government, governmental cabinet, minority government, types of minority governments, parliament, legislature, parliamentary democracy, Europe.